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I can think of a no more ridiculous idea than an manned trip to mars!, it would be vastly expensive compared with robot exploration and would produce little of scientific value.Is the idea to try and ruin the Chinese economy as they try to compete?, I think they have more sense
I can think of a no more ridiculous idea than an manned trip to mars!, it would be vastly expensive compared with robot exploration and would produce little of scientific value.
I can't think of a more rediculous idea than leaving the sea/water to explore dry land.
Don't forget; most of the early organisms that tried it perished at the next low tide! They didn't PLAN to be there - it was an accident.
Robots get my vote for the first dozen missions, at least. That takes us into the 22nd century, probably. Why are people obsessed with actual humans having to go places? Isn't there enough intellectual excitement here on Earth? The project could turn out like 'Space Cadets', on TV last(?) year.
I think 1 good reason for humans to do it is that eventually we are going to have to start inhabiting other planets; whether the reason be population pressure or the threat of an NEO giving us a hefty wallop.
I think 1 good reason for humans to do it is that eventually we are going to have to start inhabiting other planets;
just have humans as useless appendages within a society where all productive activity is undertaken by robots.
This isn't going to happen in the next few years - any disaster in the medium future just means we'll die out. This an extremely long - term venture.OK, when we've done it all with robots and found out all the snags, lets send out some humans. But there's no point having a dog and barking yourself.
The 'new frontier' thing is all very well but how much of our resources per year should we expend on this stuff? My money is on serious, useful research for things in the medium - long term on this planet. Space observation - not exploration will be better value for a long time, yet. Humans have a habit of upsetting experiments when they're present. Yes - I know they can sometimes mend things too, but fault-tolerant equipment is the best solution.
I also think there's a moral aspect to this. You will always find some poor sap to go and do your exploration for you - for the glory of it. - despite the dangers. Unless it is pretty much guaranteed safe for your pioneers, it's not fair to send them.
Would you say that the greek philosophers' lives were wasted just because they had slaves to do all the 'productive' work? How many of out contributors wash their clothes by hand ? Robots and machines don't have to take any of the worth out of our lives.
Don't get me wrong; I think robots should be used for trail-blazing. My point was that, at present, all our eggs are in 1 basket. Sure, it will take a lot of money, a lot of political will, and some major technical advances - but chances are it will have to be done 1 day if the human race is to survive.
Political will with regard climate change is beginning to gain momentum (yeah, there are still a lot of big CO2 producers like China, India, USA who won't cut back - or, at least, not to any great extent) so that shows that major international political movements can happen.
http://news.aol.co.uk/volunteers-needed-for-mars-mission/article/20070620094209990001Volunteers are being sought for an 18-month simulated Mars mission.The European Space Agency (ESA) is preparing for future human exploration missions to the Red Planet and needs 12 people to take part in the test."To go to Mars is still a dream and one of the last gigantic challenges. But one day some of us will be on precisely that journey... a journey with no way out once the spaceship is on a direct path to Mars," the ESA says on its website.The volunteers will have to take care of themselves during the mission."Their survival is in their own hands, relying on the work of thousands of engineers and scientists back on Earth, who made such a mission possible," the ESA says."The crew will experience extreme isolation and confinement. They will lose sight of planet Earth"- ESA"The crew will experience extreme isolation and confinement. They will lose sight of planet Earth. A radio contact will take 40 minutes to travel to us and then back to the space explorers."To investigate the human factors of a real-life mission, ESA has teamed up with the Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems to create the simulations.The joint exercise will follow the profile of a real Mars mission, including an exploration phase on the surface of Mars. Nutrition will be identical to that provided on board the International Space Station, the ESA says.The simulations will take place at a special facility in Moscow. A precursor 105-day study is scheduled to start by mid-2008, possibly followed by another 105-day study, before the full 520-day study begins in late 2008 or early 2009.ESA is looking for 12 volunteers, four for each of the three simulations. It says the selection procedure is similar to that of ESA astronauts, although there will be more emphasis on psychological factors and stress resistance than on physical fitness.any takers?
But who cares if the human race survives?
If you want to ever get humans out to Mars at all,
QuoteBut who cares if the human race survives?Well, if no one cares, then what is the point of arranging an escape route if Earth somehow fails?
What difference would it make to me, personally, if Mars were to be populated by robots or by humans?
Is there some special intellectual satisfaction just in knowing there are actual people up there? The fact that they would, probably be using a high level of robotic help would make it somehow less justifiable, would it? This is the same attitude that makes it necessary for people actually to visit the rain forests to see, for themselves, some threatened species. I know and appreciate the presence of things without having to 'be there' and, by observing, cause disturbance.
The appreciation is in the mind, not in the passport full of visa stamps. The only difference with the Mars thing would be the cost, to me - much higher if there were humans on Mars than expendable robots. Health and safety are expensive items.
QuoteIf you want to ever get humans out to Mars at all,What do we want them to go there for? Is it really likely that they would be going there in order to prepare it as a lifeboat for billions of Earth dwellers? The much-quoted 'parallel' example of the discovery and colonisation of America demonstrates the reverse - the US made it as hard as possible for immigration, once they had 'enough'. Who would this venture benefit?
If we have so much money and resources then why don't we take our pleasure in sorting out the problems of people worse off than ourselves here on Earth? Wouldn't you like to be part of the generation which sorted out poverty and hunger, too?I suggest it's because it's just not glamorous enough or a big enough boys' toy.People went to the New World for personal gain, mostly. Or they were attracted to it in the same way that village lads were always attracted to the army by the visiting recruiting sergeant.Human nature, being what it is, will always mean that people are attracted to big sexy projects rather than unglorious, bread and butter stuff which we all need. It's Mary and Martha all over again - I guess we need both.
In any case, I doubt it is actually possible to 'solve' poverty and hunger, merely to ameliorate it.
QuoteIn any case, I doubt it is actually possible to 'solve' poverty and hunger, merely to ameliorate it.OK, then - let's 'ameliorate' it a bit. I'm sure that a lot of people would appreciate that.
It is so easy to be insular about these things. Let's try to deal with Malaria (a boring subject until it starts to hit the South of England). There are sure to be a lot of spin-offs from that as well as from the space prog. Let's try to 'ameliorate' the problem of HIV in Africa by serious education and economic pressure on governments.
Are there really that many facts about life on Earth or in Space that need actual manned missions to Mars? A few boring months in low Earth orbit would give (and have given) loads of insight into the physiological effects of space travel but who is it for?
Yes, it's lovely boys' own stuff to think of the wild west up there and we would all like to have new experiences but aren't there even more interesting things to do with Earth - bound Science?Yes - even submarine research has a vast amount to offer. Food and energy have rich potential for us in the sea.
but the scope of observation that a small handful of robots can send back is still far less than a large and permanently manned base could send back.
But are they mutually exclusive?
Quotebut the scope of observation that a small handful of robots can send back is still far less than a large and permanently manned base could send back.For the price of the most modest manned mission to Mars, you could afford to saturate the place with unmanned observatories. It need not be a small handful. Furthermore, in a manned mission, all the really useful data - apart from the "wow this is cool" type data would be made automatically, in any case.
QuoteBut are they mutually exclusive?Yes, in effect, they are. We only have a certain amount of resources; my problem with manned space exploration is that it is a profligate use of those resources. Yes, it is good fun and I would not refuse the offer of a trip. My reservations are much the same as those against eco-tourism. Can I justify the cost (wide sense)?
A full-scale rescue operation was launched after seven college students on a night-time orienteering trek became worried by a herd of cows.Emergency services were called out on Monday night after the teenagers became stuck on a hill near Swanage, Dorset.The girls from St Albans had been tasked with using map reading skills to find their way to the nearby adventure centre they were staying in.A Loreto College spokeswoman said the task was run by an "experienced team".Coastguard contactedThe teenagers, aged 14 and 15, were on the residential field trip as part of their geography coursework.On Monday night, they were dropped off about three miles (4.8km) from the centre and asked to find their way back.They were given mobile phones and emergency numbers in case they got into difficulty.They contacted the centre when they came across the field of cows and coastguard, police and ambulance crews were sent to the scene, a Hertfordshire County Council spokeswoman said.Hospital check-up"They got to the field and realised they needed to be on the other side of it and did not want to go through it," she explained.Maire Lynch, the head teacher of the college, said: "One group of seven girls became concerned and used their phones to call for help from the centre, as instructed.
A full-scale rescue operation was launched after seven college students on a night-time orienteering trek became worried by a herd of cows.
What would be the cost of full scale rescue operation to mars?We wouldn't need to rescue robots.
My only real point is that they need a good few decades of missions to check the place out fully before people need to go there.
Space technology is not that bad, even nowadays - it allows most broadcast satellites to complete their planned life span with very few problems.
Another_someone's argument seems to lead to the conclusion that it is only personal experience that counts. Reading a book or listening to someone relating an experience would clearly not be enough because it would be a second hand experience.Do we need to travel to the centre of the Sun to appreciate that it is very hot? No - we use our intellect to appreciate it. We can never 'see' sub atomic particles or 'feel' them but we use our intellect to appreciate something of how they interact and how they affect our lives. What's so special about going somewhere to appreciate it?
btw, those kids probably thought milk came from bottles, too. They set out on something they had not planned for properly. Just like George W. wants to do.